The Cincinnati Reds play their first playoff game in 15 years on Wednesday. First pitch is Philadelphia is at 5:07 p.m., and viewing parties are planned all over town, including on Fountain Square.
The last time a Reds team tasted post-season play was when they won the National League's Central Division in 1995; the last time the team won the NL pennant, and also went on to win the franchise's fifth and most recent World Series, was 1990.
A youngster would have to be 21 or older these days to recall the last divisional title, and closer to 30 to really remember what it was like to be in the World Series.
No one could be more elated about this week's playoff series than another special group of children in the area, those young boys and girls who look to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana for support as they battle life-threatening medical conditions.
Nikco Sports has produced a special limited edition Reds Playoff Baseball, complete with a handsome acrylic display case, to honor the Reds of 2010, a team that has captured the imagination of sports fans throughout the Midwest and stunned pre-season division favorites St. Louis and the Chicago Cubs, en route to the franchise's 9th Divisional title in history, one that dates back to 1882 when they were first called the Red Stockings.
Only 5,000 officially licensed baseballs will be produced and sold on a first-come basis for $39.95 each to raise funds and grant wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. In recent years, Nikco Sports has raised more than $1.7 million for children's charities, including past projects in the Cincinnati area that have saluted the Reds, Ken Griffey, Jr., the Cincinnati Bearcats football team and Carson Palmer and the Bengals.
Fans can order the playoff baseballs by calling 1-800-345-2868 or by visiting www.nikcosports.com. Each baseball and case includes a numbered certificate of authenticity to enhance the value. Four dollars from each sale goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, with a potential goal of raising $20,000.